Peril: From Jackboots to Jack Benny

Peril: From Jackboots to Jack Benny

by Pearl Goodman




The daughter of Holocaust survivors, Pearl Goodman grew up in Toronto in the 1960s. In this exceptionally original memoir, written with wry humor and a sharp satirical eye, she juxtaposes popular culture with the jarring transitions and contradictions in her and her parents' lives. Striving to make sense of her emerging identity, she invokes TV shows, ads, movies, and distinctive details of the material and ideological landscape, while interweaving them with her parents' harrowing wartime experiences of concentration and refugee camps, and the drama and uncertainty of their postwar emigration first to Israel, and then to Canada.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780987824462
Publisher: Bridgeross Communications
Publication date: 09/24/2012
Pages: 300
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.67(d)

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Peril: From Jackboots To Jack Benny 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
franellan More than 1 year ago
Peril: Pearl Goodman Watching the world, trying to learn about her neighbors, making friends and sharing the history of her family creates an interest in the reader from page one of this interesting novel. Filled with a child’s love of life, fantasy and hope to make the world a better place, Pearl Goodman shares her life, her family’s strife and much more with readers. Peril: her name is Jewish and yet meaning impending doom or something bad will happen. First we meet her watching as a new family moves into her neighborhood and a young boy named Henry. Pearl of Polish descent and Henry of German make a an odd friendship and at times you being to wonder if it will last. Remarks made about her grandparents and his. Statements about the war and a mother who fears that making too much noise in their house will chase the business owner away, Pearl looks for ways to integrate in a world other than the one created by her parents. Added in at the very beginning are Yiddish expressions both my mother and grandmother taught me growing up. We hear the author’s voice as she relates in the first person her life growing up, the children she meets, and the importance of what she learns and hears in the back lane and the games of dare she and several others play. Wanting to care for a pet was not what her mother would allow. References to the holocaust and what happened to so many Jews were made in most of the chapters and related to several incidents to ward off her curiosity and explain why Pearl needed to focus on other things. Her mother did not seem open minded and the way they lived seem as if she was afraid that the same thing that happened in Germany to the Jews would happen here. As the author introduces Lydia and discusses the reasons many Jewish people decided to change their names, become more anglicized and not broadcast that they were Jewish. Like the windows in a plane that you look out of and see the world below and visualize the many places that you pass and would love to visit, Pearl’s eyes are like cameras that take pictures of the world that she sees as if she is in a plane, describing where she is, has been and would like to be. Living in St. Clair she meets many different people and observes them closely and forms her own opinion. Telling about the backyard she really did not have and the walkout from the store on the ground floor, she understands the many drawbacks of where she lives, the limitations and the people living there that provide the stories that she is relating to the reader. Meeting Lydia and her family we learn of her habits and what happens when smoke fills the air in their apartment or flat and someone dies and one lives but just how you will have to learn for yourself. Many people look at the world and really don’t see anything past what they want to see and never fully comprehend the lives of others and often theirs too. Pearl’s eyes encompass quite a bit. Information about her neighbors, tenants and friends are recorded on paper in this book or memoir as if she’s creating a permanent video for everyone to watch over and over again. Some descriptions quite stark, bland and others descriptive as she realizes that life is not always what a young person wants and making do with what you have is sometimes what needs to be done. Her parents are from the old school and many times refuse to budge on the things that she wants, her desires and opinions when they differ from theirs. Customs must be adhered to, r